Why Children NEED Nature

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There is something so beautiful about creating a project with deep regard and passion. When we wrote our book,  Fresh Air Kids Switzerland, it was a culmination of years spent on the trail as a family and over the course of those years we have come to notice that our children thrive in nature. Not only does nature provide a gorgeous backdrop for our family to bond and explore, but it allows our child the opportunity to be children.

Listed below are benefits of nature, so get plenty-today.

1. Vitamin D Absorption – the body absorbs Vitamin D when sunlight penetrates the skin. Get healthy, stay healthy.

2. Physical and Mental Benefits – the opportunity to exercise in nature is abundant allowing children the chance to move their bodies freely. Kids need this and so do we!

Doctors are now prescribing nature as a way to ward off stress and anxiety in adults and children.

Nature may also help lessen ADHD/ADD symptoms in children. Hmm…too much time in the classroom, not enough time outdoors…perhaps.

3. Nature may help prevent Nature Deficit Disorder, a term coined by Richard Louv, which is define by individuals having limited exposure to the natural world. We need nature.

4. Nature provides a natural slowing down and has a calming effect on children.

5. Freedom – nature provides freedom through unorganized and unstructured play time – children have come to crave this in their highly structured, over scheduled lives.

Step out into the natural world and observe how your children see the world differently.

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If you are interested in having the authors of Fresh Air Kids talk at your organization regarding, “The Education of Nature,” talks can be custom made to suit the needs of your organization or school.

Climate Strike Basel

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Global climate strikes are powerful and we felt honored to be part of the climate strike in Basel on Friday, September 20th. As we venture into this new era of climate change, here is a quick overview of things we can all do to make the world a better place.

1. Educate your children on the choices they make and how they impact the future generations. This is not only important for teaching children, but also for us, as adults, to lead the way and make good decisions on behalf of our family and the environment.

2. Drive less, or don’t drive at all. If you live in a country like Switzerland where public transportation is reliable, clean and readily accessible, ditch the car. Enough said.

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3. We vote with our money, so vote well. Make choices that support organizations and companies you believe in.

4. Fly only when necessary. As a family that loves to travel this is sometimes hard, but we have taken a hard look at our flying patterns and cut back dramatically. We do still need to fly home, but we have limited that too.

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5. Support organic products and produce. There is no need to douse our food, bodies and the planet with unnecessary and harmful chemicals. Purchase organic whenever possible.

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6. Limit the use of plastic whenever possible.

7. Read the Lorax aloud to your children and as a family. Each time I read that story I am reminded how insightful and prolific Dr. Seuss was all those years ago. May we learn the lesson from his powerful words.

8. Try harder. We don’t need a plethora of things to make us happy. Limit your spending, don’t buy new and stay away from stores.

9. Go for a hike! We cannot protect that which we do not love or feel connected to. I cannot think of a better way to fall in love with our planet than to witness her beauty first-hand. Walk on the trails, observe glacier melt, sit quietly by a lake and then you will realize how much there is to protect.

Together we can do it and never underestimate the power of the trees!

Intermittent Fasting

 

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

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I like tiny experiments. Bits of bite sized “to-do’s” that seem manageable for seven days.

A couple of weeks ago, I took part in intermittent fasting. There is a lot of attention on this form of fasting lately, but to be honest, I don’t care what the masses are doing. I wanted to see how I would feel by giving my digestive system a long break in the day and thus, I chose to eat from 7:00 – 15:00 each day for a week.

This is what I learned:

1. We don’t always need to consume three meals per day.

2. I slept better when my body wasn’t busy digesting food at night.

3. I continued my daily/routine activities including, working out and that might have been too much.

4. I was tired and I do  not know if that can be attributed to fasting or to other factors.

5. Intermittent fasting may not be feasible to complete on the days that I work due to the lack of food I consume when teaching and my working hours.

6. I felt pressed most days to get in my calories before 15:00 to avoid the fear of intense hunger later in the day/night.

7. I wasn’t hungry except for one day and drinking water when the hunger struck was key.

8. I was surprised how manageable fasting truly is to incorporate into our lives. I will certainly try this again, perhaps in the summer months when I am less hungry anyway due to the heat.

9. I felt quite productive in the evenings when I don’t have to worry about eating dinner.

10. I didn’t participate in the this activity for weight loss – simply an experiment to see how I felt.

Interested in learning more about intermittent fasting check out this site and watch the quick video.

My next experiment…hmm, I am open to ideas! I opted to focus on gratitude and thus, I wrote down three things each day I was grateful for. Number one – health…always health!

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